More childhood memories as I plunge back into rural Northants, just for you.

LifeAfterFootball may even know some of these places from his career at the Cobblers.

Earls Barton

These are undiscovered lands off the old A45 from Purgatory to Despair, far from the neon lights of Pop World and Yates in Northampton.

Some 43 years ago, before BRAPA and Matthew were born, I was spending one of those famous hot weeks of the Summer of ’76 learning to play drums at the Salvation Army band camp at Grendon Hall. I broke my ankle (not playing drums, I hasten to add).

Grendon has never called me back to tick a pub, but 2 miles north Earls Barton calls my name.

Northampton is a surprising county, and Earls Barton is rather astonishing, particularly if you have any interest in Anglo-Saxon history.

Castle mound

I don’t, to be honest, but All Saints is a remarkable church with a harrowing “Crucifixion” and I know if it was 20 miles west in Oxon it would be overrun on Sundays, rather than empty.


A view to actual hills

Inevitably, the GBG entry is a micro which gives a nod to history.


I liked the Saxon a lot, though I was a bit confused to get “m’duck” this far south.

Cut it out

But the proof of the welcome comes at the bar, not the door, and was superb.

The lovely barmaid was ever so patient as I counted out my Β£1.75; no outstretched palm here.

Northants welcome

A group of local gentlefolk sat at the window discussing their wine purchases, a chap my age kept the pumps cask flowing.


Cosy, I thought, as I passed judgement on a cool, chewy Phipps.


But never mind the church, the castle, the conkers or the cask.

Come for the loos. They’re sensational.


Don’t ask how I got this


  1. You’ve got me wondering if one could draw a “m’duck line” at some point between north and south, and if so which cities it would intersect. They could post signs along the border: “Now Entering M’Duck Territory”

    Did that final sign persuade you to go get a tattoo? I vote for a map of the UK with the ticked portions in pink. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. M’duck is a phrase most definitely not of the North, but Midland, Mostly the shires of Derby, Nottingham and Northampton. I always find it endearing if a tad odd.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. No one says mi duck in Northampton!!! I have to confess I was probably more Hard Rock Cafe and Yates/ Slug & Lettuce during my Cobblers days πŸ˜‰ there was also a nightclub but can’t remember the name!!! However I do remember drinking in Weston Favell, Duston and a cracking Cromwell named boozer just before the M1!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “learning to play drums at the Salvation Army band camp ”

    All I can think of is the movie American Pie and the phrase, “this one time, at band camp”. πŸ˜‰

    “Castle mound”

    You do realise that looks a bit like a plumber’s butt crack right?

    “A view to actual hills”

    The bird in the photo above that looks like something from Harry Potter.

    “as I counted out my Β£1.75”

    That wouldn’t get you a quarter of a pint of barely wine in the Lakes according to Si.

    “Don’t ask how I got this”

    The finger to the lips in the photo says the same dunnit?



  4. Oxon is twenty miles west, not east, or more accurately south-west. I’m sure you do it deliberately to trigger me πŸ˜›

    It may not all be m’duck territory, but Northants is definitely Midlands, not Home Counties.


    1. That wasn’t intentional. I actually checked that as I wrote it and definitely wrote west. I reckon there’s an auto-correct feature called “automatically upset Old Mudgie” and I’m not even joking.

      Yes, Northants is definitely Midlands, though the stretch from Towcester toward Banbury gives Oxon a run for its money.


  5. Dandy…dandelion…I can reliably inform the readership, that more than one country has explored the commercial potential, for producing rubber from the white sap of dandelions, and even of lettuces too.

    Liked by 1 person

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